Archive for July 2010

Arizona Immigration Law — Virus SB1070?

July 21, 2010

Perspective of
a Naturalized American / Legal Immigrant

It is summer time no doubt! The temperatures in southern Arizona are over 100 °F every day and all are waiting anxiously for the monsoon rains to come. I love those rains which seem to be late this year, but I will not experience them this time because I am departing on my annual trip from Tucson to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

I moved to Tucson 10 years ago from the Cape. I love living here, but I also love Cape Cod with its ocean and sandy beaches, and my place there that I called home for so many years. Now each summer I travel to the Cape like a bird to an old and comfortable nest, again and again. Arizona and Massachusetts are so different in their physical beauty, history and politics, that it is sometimes hard to imagine that they are part of the same country. Since I declared myself as a permanent resident of Arizona, my car is wearing Arizona’s license plate. Crossing the huge distance between the two places, I have been proud of that plate with a saguaro image and state slogan, ”Grand Canyon State.”

I felt good arriving on the east coast where that plate would bring attention as a very unusual one among other cars with MA, NH, ME or NY markings. It indicated that the car traveled from very far away. This time however, I feel different about my car’s plate because I know it will bring attention not to the beauty of Arizona and the mystery of the Grand Canyon, but to Arizona’s controversial immigration law, called SB1070, which might take effect on July 29th this year.

I strongly oppose that law and expressed that very early by participating in a demonstration in Tucson three days after the law was signed by Governor Jan Brewer. While there I even had the opportunity to express my opinion on KOLD news. Here is the link:

Immigration law opponents demonstrate at governor’s Tucson speech

More recently I had another chance to talk about the immigration law during a one hour interview on Andy Greeley’s On The Bookshelf show (KJLL, AM 1330) on the 3rd of July. We talk about my writing and specifically about my book Looking at the World Twice: Essays & Poems on Identity, Belonging and Otherness. Most of my essays in this book address the issues of freedom, liberty, otherness and my immigrant experience – very appropriate subjects for reflection on Independence Day. All four parts of that interview will be posted on my website after I arrive on the Cape, but today I am posting the part of the interview that directly relates to the immigration law. Please follow this link:

KJLL interview, 7-3-2010, part 3 of 4

While trying to memorize the name of the immigration law as SB1070, it occurred to me that it sounded like the name of a virus! When I heard it the first time, it brought memories of my work in the past as a biochemist/microbiologist. I recall writing on glass tubes containing viruses their scientific names, symbolized by a combination of letters and numbers, very much like ‘SB1070’. The recent swine flu virus also came to my mind. You might recall that at the time of anxiety about that flu, our media started to refer to it as the ‘H1N1 flu virus’ rather than the ‘swine flu virus’. H1N1 sounds less scary than the ugly name ‘swine flu virus’.

I just hope that the virus ‘SB1070’ will not spread to the entire country and will be eradicated before becoming contagious and dangerous to us all.

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Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann

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